Local Man Dies of Diabetes

Family members are mourning the loss of a 25-year-old local man, described as loving, easy going, and a great friend, after he slipped into a diabetic coma, which led to his untimely death.

Friday afternoon, Chris Johnson entered into the Tough Man Competition in Ozark, but by the second round he couldn't go anymore.

He said he was tired and thirsty and then he slipped into a diabetic coma.

Sunday, he was pronounced dead; family members say it's important for everyone to get checked for diabetes.

"I just loved him and everybody he came in contact with. He never met a stranger. He just loved everybody," says Chris' Mother Brenda Johnson.

"When I would always worry, he would say, 'don’t worry about it, because you never know what's going to happen.' He was there whenever I needed him; he was there. He was my soul mate." The thoughts of Chris make his fiancé Robyn Munroe tear up.

So when he decided to enter the Tough Man Competition in Ozark last Friday, it didn't shock family members because Chris took life by the horns, but Robyn had concerns.

"But the whole day, I was very nervous. I just had a bad feeling," says Robyn.

Sunday, Chris died after slipping into a diabetic coma. Toxins ate away at his organs, then his heart.

However, Chris didn't know he had diabetes, which runs in his family.

"The main symptoms I think people need to look for; are you going to the bathroom a lot. You have unusual thirst and then extreme hunger and weakness," says Wallace Community College Division Director of Practical Nursing Gwynn Galloway.

According to the Alabama Department of Health, more African-Americans suffer from diabetes in the teen to senior citizen age group and many Americans don't know they have it.

Now, family members of Chris Johnson want you to be safe so you won't have to suffer the loss of a loved one.

"Go be tested. And most of all, ask your parents, cause your parents know. It's hereditary. So you know, get it checked and be aware of things around you because I don't want what happened to my son to happen to anyone else," says Brenda.

Family says they are leaning on one another and trusting in God to for support.

Funeral services for Chris will be held Saturday at 11AM at Daleville Christian Center.

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